U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Ventura County
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 07-19-2019, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,912 posts, read 10,724,203 times
Reputation: 1742

Advertisements

Low unemployment, low crime, but “anemic” growth, shortage of housing, and increasing homelessness, according to the State of the Region Report from the Ventura County Civic Alliance (VCCA)...

VC Star article: Ventura County Civic Alliance delivers good news and bad in State of the Region Report
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-20-2019, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Idaho
6,122 posts, read 6,847,062 times
Reputation: 13396
The Ventura County Civic Alliance sure doesn't like SOAR. At first, I thought it was the author of the Star article, Mike Harris. Some of the wording in the newspaper article was very biased. However, he kindly provides a hyperlink to the actual report which you can download in PDF format. Reading the applicable section about housing, Mike is just quoting from the report. The VCCA doesn't like SOAR, but does recognize that it is the will of the voters.

Direct link to the VCCA report: https://civicalliance.org/wp-content...ort_lowres.pdf
__________________


Moderator posts will always be Red and can only be discussed via Direct Message.
C-D Home page, TOS (Terms of Service), How to Search, FAQ's, Posting Guide
Moderator of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Guns and Hunting, and Weather


Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-20-2019, 01:29 AM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,912 posts, read 10,724,203 times
Reputation: 1742
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
The Ventura County Civic Alliance sure doesn't like SOAR. At first, I thought it was the author of the Star article, Mike Harris. Some of the wording in the newspaper article was very biased. However, he kindly provides a hyperlink to the actual report which you can download in PDF format. Reading the applicable section about housing, Mike is just quoting from the report. Th VCCA doesn't like SOAR, but does recognize that it is the will of the voters.

Direct link to the VCCA report: https://civicalliance.org/wp-content...ort_lowres.pdf
I’ve never known the VCCA to have a position on SOAR. Did you find a statement to that effect, or is it your opinion? And how is the article biased, about what?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2019, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
16,290 posts, read 30,816,813 times
Reputation: 21875
Below are the only two SOAR comments that I found in the report. Then again I was only looking in Land Use and Housing section. My thoughts are that the report covers SOAR as an explanation to part of the reason that we don't have the ability to build. I am often wrong about such things, I did not see the report as for or against SOAR. I was hoping that they were against it. I am pro development though. One of my biggest Oxnard Heroes was Martin V. Smith. In an Interview a few years prior to his death, he mentioned that if he had known what he knows now he would have built even more propertied in the Oxnard area.
Here are the quotes on SOAR:

"The political equilibrium across the
county resists large-scale development,
and that resistance is codified in SOAR,
or Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources, a set of
laws that give voters the final say on most development
projects planned for open space or farmland."

"The development rate of rural land
slowed noticeably after 1995 when Ventura County voters
passed growth control laws collectively known as Save Open
Space and Agricultural Resources or SOAR. In 2016, voters
extended these measures through 2050, so it seems unlikely
Ventura County will see 1980s-style sprawl development
anytime soon."
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2019, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Idaho
6,122 posts, read 6,847,062 times
Reputation: 13396
Surprise, you need to consider the sentence just before the one you quoted. I based my opinion, (and honestly, that is what it is - an opinion), on a phrase in the report that was restated in the Star article. It says, (page 57, second paragraph):

Quote:
With abundant acreage devoted to farms and ranches, national forest and coastline, much of the county is off limits to development, either by necessity or by choice. The political equilibrium across the county resists large-scale development, and that resistance is codified in SOAR, or Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources, a set of laws that give voters the final say on most development projects planned for open space or farmland.
(bolded emphasis mine) What set me off is the use of the adjective, "abundant" when describing farms and ranches. Of course, there can be no development in Los Padres National Forest or on the beaches. That's obvious. Farms and ranches?

The on-line Google dictionary defines "abundant" as:

Quote:
existing or available in large quantities; plentiful.
"there was abundant evidence to support the theory"
synonyms: plentiful, copious, ample, profuse, rich, lavish, liberal, generous, bountiful, large, huge, great, bumper, overflowing, superabundant, infinite, inexhaustible, opulent, prolific...
In other words, Ventura County has too much farmland and ranches. Not "enough" or "adequate"...but "too much"! I submit that the Oxnard Plain is some of the richest farmland in the world with a climate conducive to growing multiple high-value crops per year. In light of the current worldwide population and the ability to adequately feed such population...we do NOT have too much farmland or ranches. Especially the prime, rich land such as on the Oxnard Plain.

Ranchland, and then farmland, is considered a low-order use of land on the geographic economic scale. Once land has been converted to a higher order, such as putting homes on farmland...it will never revert back to the lower landuse order. Once we pave over the Oxnard Plain, it is forever lost to agricultural production.

That is why SOAR was so successful, (meaning that it passed in all cities and countywide). The people of the incorporated cities in the county as well as those living in unincorporated areas recognized that the city of Oxnard, in particular, and other cities in the county defied the will of their residents and went on a campaign to pave over the Oxnard Plain farmland as fast as they could. The emotional argument given at the time is that "We don't want to become just like Orange County". The rational argument should have been, "We can't afford to lose some of the most productive farmland in the country".

VCCA squarely lays the blame on the SOAR initiative, as stated in the very next sentence of the above quoted section from the report. No, they do not come right out and say SOAR is the blame for most of the housing shortage in Ventura County, but they come awfully close, as anyone who has the ability to "read between the lines" can obviously see.

Again, it is my opinion. But one shared by many in Ventura County. I voted for the original measure because of the above stated reasons. I make no apologies for doing so.

p.s. I have no issues with "in-fill" development. That is fine. What I object to is "leap frog" development. You will have to take the Economic Geography class at CSUN to understand why.
__________________


Moderator posts will always be Red and can only be discussed via Direct Message.
C-D Home page, TOS (Terms of Service), How to Search, FAQ's, Posting Guide
Moderator of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Guns and Hunting, and Weather



Last edited by volosong; 07-26-2019 at 02:00 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2019, 04:14 PM
 
2,947 posts, read 2,179,658 times
Reputation: 11112
I agree. SOAR is not responsible for the housing shortage in Ventura. There's no shortage of residentially-zoned land, and it is a shame to pave over productive farmland.

There is a shortage of high-density housing. Only the Ventura downtown has anything approaching reasonable density, with a few apartment buildings at 4 stories and higher. Even there, the planned infill is still mostly below 5 stories. New construction around The Collection and in East Ventura tops out at moderate-height structures. No one is willing to invest/encourage steel-frame mid-rise construction. If developers can't cheap out by pushing the limits of wood-frame construction, they won't build it. Oxnard is the very definition of ugly sprawl. Same for Hueneme, Camarillo, TO, and Simi.

SOAR is responsible stewardship of the land. The resistence to denser infill is not. That's the true NIMBY / I got mine / greedy cheapskate developer problem.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2019, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,912 posts, read 10,724,203 times
Reputation: 1742
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
The emotional argument given at the time is that "We don't want to become just like Orange County". The rational argument should have been, "We can't afford to lose some of the most productive farmland in the country".

...

p.s. I have no issues with "in-fill" development. That is fine. What I object to is "leap frog" development. You will have to take the Economic Geography class at CSUN to understand why.
For me these statements encompass, shall we say, the unintended consequence of SOAR -- overlapping and competing interests.

Why did Ventura Countans vote for SOAR? Depends who you ask. Some wanted to limit suburban sprawl, but were not against sprawl in and of itself. They just wanted it limited in scope. Others saw SOAR as a way to build more efficient, in-fill, taller, denser, which suburbanites often deplore. Still yet rural purists saw SOAR as a way to enshrine Ventura County as a place of perpetual "country living" (never mind that Ventura County's industrial farming does not equate to that). Expanding wildlands, parks and other pristine areas, yet another interest. Farmers and ranchers saw SOAR as a way to insulate and buffer them from encroaching development. Same for the big industrial farm interests.

In the past few years, SOAR's competing interests have revealed themselves more and more. What do we want SOAR to do? Is there even a marginal consensus on this? As an example, I know people who are against providing subsidized farmworker housing, yet love to look at the fields. (For me, we have a moral duty to assure that farmworkers who tend to the beloved fields don't live in shanties.)

Of course, blaming cost and shortage of housing, or lackluster economic activity on SOAR alone seems overly simplified to me, but we have to acknowledge its role. My 2¢.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2019, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,912 posts, read 10,724,203 times
Reputation: 1742
Quote:
Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post
I agree. SOAR is not responsible for the housing shortage in Ventura. There's no shortage of residentially-zoned land, and it is a shame to pave over productive farmland.

There is a shortage of high-density housing. Only the Ventura downtown has anything approaching reasonable density, with a few apartment buildings at 4 stories and higher. Even there, the planned infill is still mostly below 5 stories. New construction around The Collection and in East Ventura tops out at moderate-height structures. No one is willing to invest/encourage steel-frame mid-rise construction. If developers can't cheap out by pushing the limits of wood-frame construction, they won't build it. Oxnard is the very definition of ugly sprawl. Same for Hueneme, Camarillo, TO, and Simi.

SOAR is responsible stewardship of the land. The resistence to denser infill is not. That's the true NIMBY / I got mine / greedy cheapskate developer problem.
There's plenty of "ugly sprawl" in Ventura County to go around. But in defense of Oxnard, the city has taken bold strides with in-fill and "building up," as they say. The new Wagon Wheel development is building several six-story mixed-use condos and apartment complexes. For Ventura County as a whole, a lot of the responsibility to do this has fallen to Ventura and Oxnard. Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Simi Valley have fought against big-and-tall multi-family units and mixed-use development. In fact, didn't Thousand Oaks end up in court over their claim to be "built out"?

One problem with denser development in all VC cities is that zoning laws limit the number of dwelling units per acre of land. Developers will build if they're allowed. It's not for lack of will on their part. But when you're limited to a certain (low) number of units per footprint, you can't go as tall as you want. Zoning laws are slow to change, and applying for special use permits to exempt your project is arduous. Back to Wagon Wheel, the original proposal for it included two 22-story apartment towers. However, this was too much to stomach back in 2009 when the final decision on the project reached city council. Oxnard said yes to several six-story, but no to two towers.

Last edited by Winston Smith; 07-26-2019 at 05:13 PM.. Reason: Correct auto-correct's error.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2019, 11:18 AM
 
2,947 posts, read 2,179,658 times
Reputation: 11112
Damn, 22 storys? That would've been like Hong Kong. Too bad...

I'm thinking of the squat 3-story mixed-use stuff going in near the pedestrian overpass in Ventura. It's better than a weed-and-needle-infested vacant lot, but too bad it couldn't be taller. I think the city limited it as well, because the plan calls for "sight lines" down the existing streets to the ocean. I'm sure the city council would've had conniptions if it had been 5+ storys.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2019, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,912 posts, read 10,724,203 times
Reputation: 1742
Quote:
Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post
Damn, 22 storys? That would've been like Hong Kong. Too bad...
Haha. Yup. That's not all. Just before the financial and real-estate crash in 2008, one developer proposed a grand project at the site of the old Levit'z store, basically across Oxnard Boulevard from Wagon Wheel. It was supposed to be several multi-story, mixed-use buildings, in addition to a mixed condo/hotel skyscraper of, wait for it--48 stories. Forty-eight!! The tallest building in Oxnard now (in fact the tallest on the coast between Los Angeles and San Jose) is the 22-story Morgan Stanley office tower in the Financial Plaza. Forty-eight was quite the shocker for the Oxnard City Council, though not fully surprised at the magnitude of such an ambitious project proposal. I saw the renderings, and, holy wow.... The economic collapse just a little while later caused the developer to dump the proposal. Latest I heard is that U-Haul owns the property now.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Ventura County

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top